Friday, 7th August 2020

Transformation demands digital automation

By Kyle McNabb, SVP of Product, ASG

Innovative products alone will not guarantee success in the information economy. Organizations must compete differently by transforming products, services and how they work to deliver value. However, many organizations focus too much on faster and smarter product innovation, missing an opportunity to rethink how they can deliver new and different value throughout the organization. Your organization can compete differently with its digitally advanced competitors and the digital native startups by focusing on organization velocity, flexibility, and transparency.

First, your organization must accelerate its efforts to digitize and automate processes to move faster with your market and customers.Automation is no longer a back-office opportunity. Today’s technology can help you digitize and automate many processes that drive engagement with customers, partners and employees. This digitization and automation enable your resources to focus on new and different ways to add and delivery value to your customers, your partners and your organization.

Second, your organization must move digitization outside of IT and make it a shared responsibility with your business leaders and teams. The continuing democratization of IT enables non-IT workers—those who are usually closer to the business need—to participate more directly in digital transformation initiatives. This expands your organization’s development capacities, enables faster response to market changes and brings in more business insight.

To democratize IT, you need platforms and tools that reduce the complexity of integrating technologies and data, and therefore, simplify application development. Process automation tools that leverage cloud-based business services can simplify the assembly of process applications, allowing skilled business teams to digitize from a business first focus without extensive technical training. This increases the productivity of both professional and citizen developers, reducing your costs and accelerating your competitive strategies that drive growth and success.

Still, as businesses automate their processes—increasingly connecting and transacting through digital channels—they must also comply with the growing set of data privacy regulations. Your organization must ensure it manages and protects its data and content as demanded by regulations, without sacrificing the ability to improve customer engagement and improve insights that can fuel your business.

Digital automation platforms allow organizations to quickly, efficiently and, in many cases with regulatory compliance, transform their businesses—here’s how.

BPM and RPA Improve Velocity to Deliver Value-Added Work

Processes often spread across multiple applications, user interfaces, and business unit silos—resulting in inefficiencies, duplication of work and reduced productivity. Business process management (BPM) and, increasingly, robotic process automation (RPA) can address these challenges by automating business processes and applying automation to additional manually oriented processes. Employees can be freed from repetitive tasks to focus on work that adds more value.

BPM automates machine-based processes—processes across applications and business units within an organization—for greater productivity, reliability and consistency. RPA automates human-based processes—highly repetitive, routine and mundane tasks—which bots can execute with greater efficiency and less error. Your organization must consider BPM and RPA together to automate your complex work and processes. When organizations implement BPM and RPA in isolation, they can create disconnected automations, requiring multiple design tools and entry points with different interfaces and development models, resulting in increased costs.

Instead, using a single visual design environment that includes both BPM and RPA capabilities, professional developers or business process designers can connect BPM models and RPA process models for a seamless, integrated experience—unifying automation across the entire organization. For example, an RPA task can be invoked from within a BPM process, augmenting the process with an RPA bot that automates a step that previously required human engagement. Once the bot finishes its work, it sends the results back to the BPM automation to resume the process.

While human users interact with and move processes through the organization, robots can execute repetitive tasks, increasing speed and accuracy.This automation can accelerate digital transformation initiatives—cutting costs and freeing employees to deliver more value from higher-level tasks.

Non-IT Users Become Citizen Developers Improving Your Flexibility

Non-IT users must be equipped to leverage digital process automation if organizations want to realize its full value. Model-based application design tools with a low-code/no-code approach make it possible for citizen developers (e.g. your business analysts or process designers) to design, assemble and deploy process applications. IT and business users can then work together, combining application development skills with business knowledge to accelerate the delivery of process applications.

With a model-based approach, your professional developers can construct and embed models of processes, data integrations and user interfaces. Then, both professional and citizen developers can simply drag and drop models to assemble and deploy process applications and set simple parameters specific to the automation. This streamlined strategy increases the productivity of your developers and empowers your business users. As a result, your organization can rapidly and seamlessly build flexible business solutions on top of common business services.

By democratizing development and design, your organization can use the full talent of its IT and business users to stay ahead of your competition and keep pace with your market. With a single design environment that unifies services for process automation (BPM and RPA), content lifecycle and repository management, and portal and presentation, organizations can achieve three critical objectives: 1) increasing the velocity of application delivery, 2) providing additional flexibility to meet changing needs, and 3) adding transparency to operations across the platforms and enterprise silos.

Automated Compliance and Governance Improves Transparency

Regulations increasingly require that content captured or created through processes must be managed and governed in compliance. Your organization can address this challenge by using digital automation tools that offer the capability to build privacy and governance into all processes.

Repository services manage the complete content lifecycle and can automate compliance and reduce risk. Process designers and citizen developers, can capture, manage, deliver and govern the content from business processes into process-centric and content-centric applications. The repository can then protect and govern content by encrypting it at rest and on the fly, masking content from unauthorized viewing through policy-based redaction and setting retention rules for compliance with corporate governance and privacy regulations.

Using a single unified platform, your organization can automate governance with the following protocol:

·Process designers define and apply governance policies when content is created or ingested as part of the process application

·Policies apply rules that manage all content through the content lifecycle from capture to retention and deletion

·Policy-based rules trigger workflows and alerts to provide an active overview of regulatory compliance, initiate requests for action on data (e.g. right to be forgotten) and enact retention and disposition rules within a secure repository

As regulations become more complex—and more stringent—your organization must apply greater focus, processes and resources to governance and compliance needs. The challenge can be eased with consolidated tools that add policy-driven governance capabilities to low-code application platforms, enabling both your IT and non-IT users to contribute to the effort.

The pressure to transform will only heighten as markets, customers and organizations continue to digitize and evolve. Innovation is no longer simply producing the newest, shiniest product or service. You must now innovate how your business works and how it operates, from optimizing core organizational processes, to connecting with customers and stakeholders through all channels, all devices and end points. By increasing the velocity of application delivery, enhancing flexibility to meet changing needs, and making operations more transparent across enterprise silos, your organization will have an improved chance to transform and compete.

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